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Local Artists Showcase Work at Holiday Craft Fair in Hastings

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Local artists had their work on display and for sale at the Rivertown Holiday Craft Fair on Sunday.

Hastings residents Bonnie Rodgers and Vicky Youngman both helped organize the event, which is in its fifth year.  Rodgers, who teaches art at Scarsdale Adult School and Beads of Westchester, said the art show was originally much smaller than it is today.

“We started out in our homes, but then by the second year we thought, ‘Let’s move out of the homes and see if we can rent the community center and then bring in all the local artists from the Rivertowns,’” she said.

Handmade artwork and crafts filled the Hastings Community Center as residents spoke with the artists and took home some of their favorite pieces.  Everything from handmade jewelry to paintings, pottery, handcrafted cards and even homemade dog and cat accessories covered the tables in the community center.

When asked what it is that separates handcrafted items from those seen in stores, Rodgers said it’s the distinctive qualities of the products.

“It’s something special, it’s something different,” she said.  “It’s unique pieces versus going to Macy's and buying that cookie cutter stuff everybody has.”

Youngman, who teaches college sculpture at Pace University, said he believes the process is something that draws people to the homemade pieces. “I think it has more meaning for people,” Youngman said.  “You can talk to the artists about how it’s made and you can also personalize it to a certain occasion.”

Anne Souza works out of her Dobbs Ferry home creating dog and cat accessories and treats and said people appreciate the work that goes into each piece of work. “People like things that have a history,” she said.  “It’s nice to have something someone spent time on.”

Supporting local artists is one of the main reasons for the art show, but many said money isn’t the motivating factor. “We’re all artists, I enjoy what I do,” Souza said.  “It’s a lot of love and labor that goes into it.”

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